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“It’s a Dog’s Life”?

A recent news story captured national attention, inspiring the sympathy and generosity of many Americans. A woman in San Jose, California, rear-ended a man in a pickup truck who took considerable exception to this offense. After both cars stopped, the man jumped out of his truck, accosted the woman, reached into her vehicle and plucked out her bichon frisé (a very expensive, pure breed, cute, fluffy, little white dog), hurling it into the oncoming traffic. As the assailant fled the scene, the dog met its demise under commuters’ wheels. The woman was horrified, and demanded that this man be brought to justice. Then came the outpouring of grief and dollars by the dog-loving public. The reward money to apprehend the dog’s killer has, as of this writing, totaled more than $100,000.

Surely the murder of one of God’s furry creatures is cause for outcry — oops, did we say “murder”? Perhaps we, too, are getting carried away with this, for a dog (like a steer) can’t be murdered, can it? Let’s get our bearings here.

Daily we are burdened by story upon story of kidnappings and murders, the most heinous of which involve children. In March, a ten-year-old girl was abducted from her driveway while getting off the school bus in Gainesville, Florida. Her mother later appeared on national TV pleading for her safe return. As the reward funds for information leading to the arrest of her abductor reached $15,000, the girl was found at a nearby Wal-Mart. A suspect was arrested and charged with kidnapping and sexual battery after turning himself in to a mental health center.

In January, a 25-year-old Korean immigrant was shot to death in Sacramento, California, while waiting in a car outside her father’s place of business. The reward funds reached $10,000 before two suspects were identified.

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